So, once again, last Sunday, March 13, 2016, I attended another book signing event. Hosted by the amazing National Book Store, this event was for the fans of the New York Times Bestselling Author of the Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series, Sarah J. Maas!
If you’ve been reading some of my book tags from last year, you would probably know by now just how much I loved her books! (And no, I still haven’t finished reading Heir of Fire yet, so please don’t judge me. Haha!) She rapidly became one of my most favorite authors and getting to meet her as well as snag a photo was such a great privilege!
Due to limited time, once Sarah J. Maas arrived, we immediately started with the Question and Answer portion of the event! And, of course I took down notes! Read all what Sarah had to say about her and her books below:
- If given the chance, Sarah wants to make changes with the way she wrote her books. For her, the editing phase is extremely important, and she wishes to edit her books forever. However, she is also pressured to actually send her work to an agent before her deadline so as to make sure that it will be out on time. Especially now that she has to release two books a year, (One for the Throne of Glass series, and one for the A Court of Thorns series), which is so intense.
- If asked what her favorite book is from her series, it’s the one she’s currently working on. As of now, it’s Empire of Storms. This is because all her books show just how much she have grown as an author since her last book release.
- If she ever gets the chance to write a new fairy tale retelling, she wants it to be about Vasilisa The Beautiful, which is a great part of Russian folklore that’s about the life of a girl after having been orphaned.
- With regards to her writing process, she’s actually a hybrid of a pantser and a plotter. She likes to know how to start and end her story before actually writing it. Also, her characters tend to be her guiding stars whenever she writes. She listens to them so that she knows where to take them next.
- When asked about what readers could expect towards A Court of Mist and Fury, she enlightened everyone with the knowledge that more secrets are about to be relieved in the world of Prythian. The Night Court, where the story is supposed to take place in, is layered with secrets which readers will soon find out for themselves in May.
- Her writing advice to all aspiring writers is to not be too technical. What meant most to her was to be a part of the writing community. She wouldn’t have been as big an author as she is now without the help of those who looked back to her and gave her help when they were in a successful position.
- Her writing advice for those who aims to create mysterious characters such as Celaena and Dorian, is to just keep on listening to what “your characters” are trying to tell you, and think about the smallest and most significant details that would define them as your characters.
- One of the most important reasons why Sarah introduced Celaena to her audience was because she wanted to tell the story of a strong heroine who felt as real a person can be. She also told everyone that sometimes, “the quietest people are the strongest” and that “there is strength in kindness”. Also, she added that any type of character could be a hero/heroine should they just choose to be just that.
- Before writing, Sarah usually listens to music that she knows would correlate with her characters, and get her into their own mindset. This is to ensure that her characters are as genuine as can be.
- When asked about Chaol and relationship between Celaena, and Dorian and his Kingdom, Adarlan, Sarah shocked everyone and shared that if given the choice, Chaol would pick Dorian. He had really strong feelings for Celaena, but he could never turn his back from Dorian, who was his friend way before he met the Queen of Terrasen. (Uhm, okay. I was beginning to question just who I ship Celaena with by this time.)
- Strong friendships, empowering people to become heroes/heroines, and having people relate to her characters were some of the things that summed up her books. It was ultimately important to Sarah that her readers, specifically the Filipino ones, were so vocal about their love for her books. (And to the PH fans of Sarah, she kept on telling everyone just how grateful she is to everyone for helping make her books a global phenomenon. This was such a proud moment for me! However, she loves her fans all over the world just the same!)
- ACOTAR was inspired by European faes. She wrote ACOTAR with Ireland as her inspiration for the story’s setting, and with the help of Wikipedia, she managed to create characters, monsters, and a storyline that was as interesting as the classic Beauty and the Beast, and yet was modern enough to get YA readers to give it a chance.
- When asked whether she feels different after having been labeled a New York Time Bestselling Author, she told everyone that she felt so excited and grateful. All she wanted to happen was to see her book on a shelf, and everything else was just icing on the cake. But she was humble and told everyone that even so, she was still a common author who goes home to writes books, and walks her dog.
- Sarah is possibly the biggest fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and, just like tons of fangirls and fanboys out there, love Zutara. (Prince Zuko, and Katara) It was her most favorite fandom and gave everyone the permission to bury her in that ship.
- And lastly, she also enlightened everyone about the diversity in Manon Thirteen. She wanted for the ironteeth witches to come later in the series, but felt like it would totally be epic if she introduced them in Heir of Fire. She wanted to blend tons of witches who would represent diversity so as to show her readers that it’s a thing now in terms of Young Adult Literature.
Of course, we had books signed afterwards. Everyone was allowed to have 3 books by Sarah that were Bloomsbury UK edition. Now, some of you might be wondering: What did I have her sign? Well, since I own the US Hardcovers of the Throne of Glass and ACOTAR series, I opted not to have anything signed for myself. *CRIES AN OCEAN OF TEARS* It broke my heart not to have anything signed, but told myself that I was lucky just to have a photo opportunity with the bestselling author. Instead, I took 3 books from my friends and that was what I had signed by Sarah.
As you can see, she is absolutely stunning! She literally looks like a queen! I totally lost all coolness when it was my turn to meet and greet her. I fangirled so, so hard and kept on telling her just how grateful I am for her books and to NBS for bringing her here. I also snagged a hug which I am yet to find a photo of. Haha!
Here’s a photo of the Philippine YA Book Bloggers with Sarah J. Maas + Mr. Maas. Photo grabbed from Jesselle @ The Lifelong Bookworm.
Look at that positively overwhelming crowd! Some of them were already at the venue since 5:30 AM the previous day! And yes, some of those people were my friends! They were absolutely dedicated and could not wait longer than they have to to meet Sarah.
Some of them wore cool shirts! (These are my friends Camille, and Jiru rocking an “Adarlan’s Assassin” shirt!) Simple, yet attractive, don’t you think?
While some of them looked a lot like Sam, Dorian, Celaena, and Feyre. I mean, how dedicated could Sarah’s Filipino readers be, right? Major props to these cosplayers for giving life to Sarah’s characters!
Meeting Sarah J. Maas was such an honor and I might have went home with nothing but a signed Instax photo, but it was still worth it. I couldn’t thank National Book Store enough for going out of their way and making Filipino Firehearts’ dreams come true!
Check out some of my friends’ recaps too!
Were you one of the lucky 350 people who made it to the signing? How was your experience? Tell me all about it on the comment section below!
Until the next one! 🙂